The first settlement on the way to the “Lower Dniester” natural site is Popeasca village, which is more than two centuries old (dating from the end of the XVIII century). The route passes through Causeni Hill, the highest point in the area, and crosses the village, which is first attested in 1769, being mentioned as Popofka on the general Bauer’s map from 1770 (1774) during the Russo-Turkish wars. The elders say that the village existed even before 1730. It is believed that the founder of the village was Sava Popov – a shepherd of Bulgarian origin, who settled with his flocks in a picturesque place in the Bugeac steppe, where the grass was not touched by the scorching sun rays. That place is now called Sovusca. Later the village was relocated a few kilometers further north, nearby a well, about which it is said that “whoever drinks water from it – will never again want to leave this place”. 

The Stiubei river begins its course towards the Dniester river here. The first summer church, “St. Nicholas”, dates back from 1801, and was built of twigs and covered with clay. Ten years later it was placed on a stone foundation. Then, the “Acoperamantul Maicii Domnului” church was erected, which was made out of stone and had a bell tower in front of it. Throughout its history, the village has expanded considerably. In 1817 it consisted only of 32 households. Today, there are about 2700 people residing in Popeasca. The place where the village is located is surrounded by legends: this is where the “Tatar Road” lays – a segment of the great “Old Moldavian Road” (which used to connect the Tatars’ lands in the Black Sea’s steppes with the Central-European countries; on the territory of Moldova the road passed through Iasi, Lapusna, Tighina, Causeni, Popeasca, the Dniester villages spreading out from Talmaza to Palanca and to Cetatea Alba). The picturesque landscape places the village in the heart of 16 valleys, each full of their own legends: Nighicei Valley, Fanului Valley, Bostanului Valley, Capsunii Valley, Lacului Valley, Mosu’s Valley, Morii Valley, Porcului Valley, Iepure Valley, Stanii Valley, Caraman’s valley, Adanca Valley, Arnautului Valley, Turcului Valley, Flocenii or Sarchezu. At the same time, the hills around the village with picturesque names (Holm, Podis, Sarchez, at the Plopi) complete the landscape of this rural settlement. The visitors can visit the Nighicei Gardens, a forest that grows on the coastline, the Fountain of Elijah, the Turk’s Shrike, the Three Brothers’ Shrike, Mos Haralampie’s Shrine, Arion Cazacu Shrine, or they can fish in the Great Pond, the one located in Odaia Gogului.

RECREATION PLACES

In the Nighicei Gardens, in Holm, in the Fan Valley, in the Great Pond, in the Sovusca Pond. The place can be accessed by following the R30 road: Chisinau – Stefan Voda (83 km), 12 km south of Causeni, 17 km north of Stefan Voda. There are two petrol stations and car service at the entrance to the village.

The Natal Land Museum (based in the Culture House, the museum has a rich collection of ethnographic pieces, books, work tools, etc.)

Popular craftsmen

Port Anton (wood carving),

Cojocaru Pavel